Are Your Jeans Dry?

sturgis100_4290

Just like the wash hanging on the clothesline snapping and flapping in the breeze, a biker gets restless waiting to jump on the bike and go. Straining against those small wooden clothes pins just waiting for them to give way and set that pair of your favorite, faded old jeans free from what’s holding them back, dry or not, they’re gone. Whether it’s a weekend ride or a week-long trip, the closer it gets, the harder it is to contain the excitement. Who needs dry jeans anyway? Lets go! And “go” we do. Near and far – wherever the wind blows us. This time of year when the weather is a little more predictable, we gas up the old bike and load it down with whatever we think is necessary, just to feel that road through the seat of our pants.

Where do we go when that day comes to ride? I know we all have dreams of where we want to go, and for some of us those dreams will come true when we hit the road. For others, we settle for that ride to somewhere, or anywhere that gets us out of here. It doesn’t take much to make any biker happy, but just knowing there is a possibility of some road-time in my future starts the motor running inside of me. The closer I get to leaving, the higher that motor revs as anticipation is a powerful thing. That leads to the bigger question here – Is it the ride or the anticipation of the ride that cranks you up? I enjoy that anticipation as much as anyone but once I get on the road I realize that the ride is what it’s all about. When the day comes to leave there isn’t enough clothes pins to hold me back, even though the days leading up to my departure had me feeling like I was being held against my will; those jeans are finally dry!

We all have our reasons for when we leave and where we go, and in the end it doesn’t matter to the masses what those reasons are, as long as your laundry is done. Get excited this year and ride somewhere you’ve never been on your motorcycle. Go where you’ve always dreamed of going and don’t let anything hold you back. Those little things that hold you back are usually no bigger than a clothes pin anyway, so just go. You’ll be glad you did.

The Mechanics of Emotion

DSCN0477

Take a step back. Look. It’s motor in plain site-the oil lines expose and its polished cases reflecting a fun-house image of yourself. The air cleaner is prominent and the cables that run from the hand controls to the power plant are waiting for your every command. The suspension is visible as are the disc brakes-a conflict in horsepower and stopping power, when all it wants to do is go, and go fast. Gears, pistons, bearings and oil. Precision cut with an idea of what is truly possible from internal combustion. Adding to this, a couple of gallons of gasoline sitting between your legs, and you fire it up. The sound, the smell and the vibration of a machine as it runs, brought to life by the push of a button or a kick of a lever.We feel it. Emotion.

We talk of motorcycles as a mechanical object-which they are. but when the inventors of two-wheel motion started assembling the early versions, they were in fact changing how we would feel about transportation that “moves” us. There is a lot of parts and pieces that are required to turn a machine into emotion but it happens with a single spark. It happens every time the motor fires up. A spark can transform peace and quiet-to gears turning, pistons pumping and exhaust throwing out the sound of life. This directly affects our physical and mental state, far beyond what was originally intended by those Harley and Davidson boys. 

The mechanical side of motorcycles is something amazing in itself. But the emotional side can be even more complicated to understand. It moves us in a three-dimensional way; physically, socially and emotionally. For over one hundred years, mechanics have never had to replace the emotional part of a motorcycle.